Can steroids cause hair loss and how to prevent it?

08 Feb 2022

Can steroids cause hair loss and how to prevent it?

About steroids in short

The steroids are not only for bodybuilding. They are used widely by surgeons and physicians due to their ability to impact general conditions of patients, improve physical and mental state. But unfortunately these drugs come with a range of side effects including hair loss after steroids. And that is an unavoidable result in most cases but it is possible to reduce the harm.

There are two kinds of steroids:

  • Corticosteroids. They are cortisone-like medicines used to treat issues of the eyes, skin, arthritis, and some allergies. They help with inflammation, lessen itching, redness, and swelling. The natural analogue is the hormone produced by the male adrenal glands.

  • Anabolic steroids. They are synthetic analogue of the male sex hormone testosterone. They are mostly used to build muscles and enhance physical performance. Also, they impact androgen levels and cause androgenic alopecia or so-called male pattern baldness.

Do steroids cause hair loss?

We’d rather start with the question: “Which steroids cause hair loss”? As we have mentioned steroids hair loss is caused by anabolic steroids but it should be mentioned that such a result is not as common as it seems.

The point is that steroids may lead to baldness if a man has a genetic susceptibility to this condition. They can speed up the process. In this case men think that they get hair loss from steroids. Also, the effect and severity depends on the steroid itself. Some of them contribute to the problem a lot indeed including some corticosteroids which still do not commonly cause baldness. On the contrary, in some cases some drugs of this category can increase hair growth. Such corticosteroids as prednisone may be used to treat hair loss if it starts because of autoimmune conditions, which are quite rare.

While anabolic steroids (being testosterone in practice) have this side effect. They are often prescribed to treat hormone imbalances and lead to muscle growth. But if these steroids are misused, they can interfere with natural processes in the body and do harm. And that is not only about steroids and hair loss but about sexual and brain function as well. The point is that too much DHT is delivered into the body. This is a male hormone, being a by-product of testosterone. It makes the hair on the head become weaker and the hair follicles die. And by the way if women take anabolic steroids, they may suffer from hair growth.

How to protect hair from steroid hair loss?

Is hair loss from steroids permanent? As it was said, this side effect is inevitable in most cases and can be irreversible if we speak about professional bodybuilding. Still, if you are not strongly prone to baldness, you can think of steroids hair loss prevention. There are steroids with formulas which are considered to be less damaging to hair. There are DHT blocking shampoos which act as effective blockers preventing the damage of scalp's follicles, and that may be an efficient treatment.

If it is decided to refuse steroids, some corticosteroids can be of help for particular types of hair loss. Of course, all measures should be taken after a visit to a physician specialized in this issue. Probably, medical examination will be needed after which accurate recommendations will be provided. It is important to know the true reasons for baldness, the way to stop treatment, dosages, and the consequences.

The treatment may include such drugs as:

  • Minoxidil. It stimulates a hair growth. Its active ingredient increases the blood flow to the hair follicles, nourishing them. It should make the follicles return to an active phase of the hair cycle and start growing.

  • Finasteride. It is able to reduce levels of testosterone up to 70 percent.

  • Vitamins for hair health, such as biotin, vitamins A, D.

But the above products are not allowed to be taken without prescription. Only the healthcare specialist is able to build an efficient scheme without a strong androgenic stimulation. Even an experienced bodybuilder cannot choose a proper drug, safe dosage, and correct scheme.

So, if you know for sure that your baldness is caused by the above reason, you should discontinue taking steroids that cause hair loss as far as continuing will bring to the boil making things worse. Or you can agree with baldness and enjoy the sports achievements.